Lakeland: Gelati Joe’s

Statue of Gelati Joe's frog mascot in Lakeland, FloridaSince summer lasts so long in central Florida, it’s almost always a good time for something cold. So my wife and I headed to Gelati Joe’s in Lakeland recently for an icy treat. For years, I thought Gelati Joe’s was a chain. Technically they are, but they have two locations, and both in Lakeland, so I’m comfortable calling them local.

Gelati Joe's restaurant exterior in Lakeland, FloridaA “gelati” is a layered blend of Italian ice and soft serve ice cream. That’s the specialty at Gelati Joe’s, but they also offer soft serve yogurt, ice cream cones, ice cream toppings, and a few other items. There is no indoor seating, but there are a number of covered picnic tables and with a breeze we were comfortable sitting outside. I had expected to be bothered by the traffic on nearby South Florida Avenue, but it didn’t interfere with our conversation at all. They also have a drive-through window.

Mango ice and vanilla ice cream gelati with mocha ice and vanilla ice cream gelati at Gelati Joe's restaurant in Lakeland, FloridaWe both ordered traditional gelatis. My wife ordered mocha ice with vanilla ice cream (the soft serve ice cream options are vanilla, chocolate, or a swirled mixture of the two). I ordered mango ice with vanilla ice cream. I was astonished at how quickly our order was ready – I know the ingredients are probably dispensed from a machine, but it was still remarkably fast. And delicious! The ice and ice cream were a great combination. Both of our gelatis had a lot of flavor. We ordered mediums (small, medium, large and quart-size are available – if you get the quart-size, please share it with someone!) and that was plenty for both of us.

Good show! We would definitely return for more gelati variations. Our total was only $7.50, a great deal for what we got. Gelati Joe’s has two locations in Lakeland, one on U.S. Highway 98 North, but we went to their location on South Florida Avenue, in between the Polk Parkway and Imperial Boulevard. Enjoy!

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